Tomorrow is the 240th anniversary from the day the Continental Congress formally endorsed the Declaration of Independence and the United States became a country on July 4, 1776.
There certainly were some rough years for the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Some were arrested, imprisoned as traitors and tortured before they died. Many lost homes and fortunes; and yet as a result of their efforts we found our liberty.
Be it a country that seeks independence or an individual, the freedom to live on your terms- the terms you create-is a fight that makes liberty worthy of fighting for, in my opinion. Filmmaker Ken Burns, from his Stanford Commencement Speech, just this past June, could not have explained it better:
The hard times and vicissitudes of life will ultimately visit everyone. You will also come to realize that you are less defined by the good things that happen to you, your moments of happiness and apparent control, than you are by those misfortunes and unexpected challenges that, in fact, shape you more definitively, and help to solidify your true character–the measure of any human value. You, especially, know that the conversation that comes out of tragedy and injustice needs to be encouraged, emphasis on courage.
It take a lot of courage to speak your truth and use it to rise above tragedy and injustice. It takes a lot of courage to use that truth to forge your own path to independence based on your true character. Your willingness or failure to do so will, however, not stop life from throwing the ‘opportunities’ for you to you; over and over again. So why not use them for a higher purpose?
Why not make your legacy, in part, that you broke the mold in your family. You were the one able to create opportunities for others; you were the one able to create jobs; you were the one able to care for your family and the children of your children; you were the one able to to be the shining example in your community that others want to emulate. We all want to be a part of history and through seeking and finding your own liberty we all can.
Ken Burns went on to say:
History is a mysterious and malleable thing, constantly changing, not just as new information emerges, but as our own interests, emotions and inclinations change. Each generation rediscovers and reexamines that part of its past that gives its present new meaning, new possibility and new power. The question becomes for us now–for you especially–what will we choose as our inspiration? Which distant events and long dead figures will provide us with the greatest help, the most coherent context, and the wisdom to go forward? ~ Filmmaker Ken Burns Stanford Commencement Speech 2016
So on this day where we honor our independence, where will you find the inspiration you need to find the strength and courage to find purpose for yours? What will be in your own declaration of independence? What will you declare as what will and won’t define you and how you will use those things to rise above and find your own way?
To your highest purpose and best self friends.
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